John Yunge-Bateman’s King Lear


When Majesty turns to folly!

John Yunge-Bateman (1897–1971), aka “Yunge”, is another British illustrator whose work I’d not noticed until now, possibly because this 1930 edition of King Lear is an early creation in a derivative style the artist abandoned. The ten black-and-white drawings are closer to Harry Clarke than Aubrey Beardsley, and a couple of them even try to match Clarke’s more grotesque inventions albeit with variable results. Some of the faces are rather dopey for my taste but I like the use of solid blacks. These samples are taken from a scarce copy currently up for auction at silver-gryph’s eBay pages should anyone be interested. (Thanks again to Nick for the tip!)


Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed, go to the creating a whole tribe of fops.


If you come slack of former services you shall do well.


Oh Lear, Lear, Lear! Beat at this gate, that let thy folly in, and thy dear judgement out!


If only to warm were gorgeous, why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wearest, which scarcely keeps thee warm.


Pr’ythee, nuncle, be contented; ’tis a naughty night to swim in.


Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once.


This kiss, if it dare speak, would stretch thy spirits up into the air.


But I am bound on a wheel of fire.


Howl, howl, howl, howl.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

2 thoughts on “John Yunge-Bateman’s King Lear”

  1. I think Yunge-Bateman was also responsible for the marvellous folk-horror cover design and illustrations to Christopher Woodforde’s A Pad in the Straw, a collection of naive and wonky (but nonetheless chilling) supernatural tales in the Jamesian style.

Comments are closed.

Discover more from { feuilleton }

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading